Pittsburgh Comicon

26 04 2010

I am considering doing conventions next year, set up a table and try to sell/show some of my art. So I decided that this year will be the year of scouting. With that in mind I headed to Pittsburgh Comicon, that takes place in the Convention Center of Monroeville.

Pittsburgh Comicon at Monroeville

Pittsburgh Comicon at Monroeville

I went on Saturday afternoon and I found that there were not a lot of people, maybe the most will gather on Sunday when the costume contest is? But there was a constant flow of people never the less. There were a lot of comic vendors and a decent amount of artists, most of them comic artists, obviously, and a couple of fantasy artists. I was a little disappointed to see that there is a general trend to vulgar slutty-almost porn in art. Really, you can have super sexy without spread legs. But there was an overabundance of that, so I guess it sells. I discovered artist Tom Fleming and I was instantly in love with his fine art! It was a little bit like Klimt meets Art Nouveau and I loved it! I just wished I had more money, because I had to settle for his new book, but how I wanted to buy his art instead!

I also did not see a lot of money flow, but the economy has been really harsh. I talked to one artist though and he said that he was doing pretty good in the comic cons, so he could not complain. What did make a lot of money were the charity raffle and the charity auction.

The charity raffle was fun, the artists gathered all in a room and people started to shout suggestions for them to draw. They sketched quickly and after a bunch of sketches were made people bought tickets and the sketches were raffled. There was a very joyful environment and the convention gathered over US$1600.

The charity auction was to benefit Make a Wish. It was touching to see all those artists donating their time and effort to gather money for a good cause. The art quality was awesome in general and I wished I had money! Oh, some of the works were to die for! People were super generous in the auction and over $16K were gathered to help fulfill children’s wishes. It was awesome. As a Make a Wish volunteer I was very touched by it.

Awesome! Lego Spiderman!

What I enjoyed the most was the super friendly, almost familial environment of the con. There was a very relaxed atmosphere, the artists were with their families, there were teens but also a lot of adults, it was really nice. Plus the convention gives you everything you need to exhibit: your table and table cloth, a banner, you just bring the stuff and set it up. The price is $125 for 3 days. Not bad, right? So I really think next year I will be joining them :)

Have you gone to conventions as an artist? Is there any advice you can give? Any insight?


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5 responses

26 04 2010
Angela R. Sasser

Sounds like there was a fun time and a good opportunity for you to scout the con out! I’ve done conventions for myself, but never seriously until this past year. I’ve decided to try and make it a part of my ‘day job’ by selling at cons and fairs around town and mailing in to as many as I can afford. Not only is it a good way to get your name out there, but a good way to get your face out there too, which is an important part of being more than just a postcard in a pile on an art director’s desk.

So far, I’ve learned that stackable storage cubes are our friend as are vertical displays. I did a blog post awhile back about table displays that might help you out as far as getting ideas for how to set up your table:
http://angelicshades.blogspot.com/2009/09/evolution-of-artist-alley-table.html

Time will tell how much stamina it’s going to take to do more than 2 shows a year! Good luck to us both:)

26 04 2010
faerywitch

Thanks a lot for the link, Ang! I am taking this year to study the market and see what I can do money wise and time wise. I will let you know if I go to any and you can send your art for me to display in my table! :) what do you think?

26 04 2010
Angela R. Sasser

Sure! I’m up for that if you have the room, but it’s not required:) Studying (and having fun) is a good plan I think!

Conventions become a whole different sort of experience when you’re there for business instead of pleasure. I thoroughly enjoyed Anime Weekend Atlanta and DragonCon as a con-goer before I started selling at them. It’s exhausting to go to sell things AND try to have fun at the same time (at least not without the help of energy drinks)!

3 05 2010
faerywitch

Yes, I imagine how it is exhausting, I saw some of those artists in dire need of a coffee! But there was a very nice camaraderie feeling and they were happy to reunite again.
I’ll let you know next year if I get to go to cons. Pit. Comicon had nice size tables.

18 06 2010
Book Review: Draw and Paint Fantasy Females by Tom Fleming. « Faerywitch World.

[...] had the luck of getting to talk to him at Pittsburgh’s Comicon, and I so wanted to buy one of his wonderful canvases! But I cannot afford it yet, and I did not [...]

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